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Saturday 10 June 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# Latifa Al Maktoum
Mary Robinson says she was 'horribly tricked' by Dubai princess' family
Dubai Princess Latifa Al Maktoum said that she is being held hostage in a ‘jail villa’, and fears for her safety.

FORMER PRESIDENT OF Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has said she was “horribly tricked” over a photo taken of her with the daughter of Dubai’s ruler – who has said she is being held hostage by her father.

In February 2018, Princess Latifa Al Maktoum reportedly tried to flee Dubai, but her friends said that commandos stormed a boat carrying her off the coast of India.

She was then brought back to the Emirates by Dubai’s ruler, the UAE’s prime minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Among increasing international concern for the woman’s welfare, in December 2018 Mary Robinson attended a family lunch on invitation from Dubai’s royal family, and was photographed with the princess.

4d21bc5d-fed3-47db-a2c1-3bd02d92b0d1 United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Afterwards, Robinson called Latifa a “troubled young woman”, which drew criticism from human rights organisations. 

But in new footage shared with and published by BBC Panorama, Princess Latifa Al Maktoum appears in a video where she says that she is a hostage in a “villa converted into a jail” guarded by police, and fears for her safety. 

“Everyday I worry about my safety and my life. I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation.

“I don’t want to be a hostage in this jail-villa – I just want to be free. I don’t know what they’re planning to do with me. I really don’t know. So the situation is getting more desperate every day.” 

BBC Panorama BBC Panorama BBC Panorama

In response to this video, Robinson told the BBC that although she was aware of the 2018 photographs of her with the princess were being taken, she thought it was to be “private photograph” to prove that the princess was alive.

“I was particularly tricked when the photographs went public. Horribly tricked. I mean that was a total surprise. I was absolutely stunned.”

“I continue to be very worried about Latifa. Things have moved on. And so I think it should be investigated,” Robinson told the BBC.

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